Arkansas crossed significant milestones on Tuesday, surpassing 40,000 cumulative cases of COVID-19 and 500 hospitalizations, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced in his regular coronavirus briefing at the State Capitol.
The governor noted the seriousness of the latest numbers regarding cumulative cases and hospitalizations.
“These are high water numbers for us,” the governor said.
The state recorded 734 new cases of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the state had 6,261 active community cases of the virus.
Twelve additional hospitalizations have been recorded, while 110 of the 501 hospitalized are on ventilators, no change from Monday’s numbers. Twenty additional deaths have also been recorded since Monday; a high number as compared to recent days. Interim Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said six of the deaths are late reporting.
Eleven counties recorded elevated cases of the coronavirus, with Pulaski and Benton Counties leading the way in the latest case totals. Mississippi, Sebastian, Washington and Pope Counties also recorded significant case numbers, while Faulkner County recorded the seventh most new cases at 34.
The governor also showed a map which displayed percent positivity rates in COVID-19 tests by county. Faulkner County has recorded a cumulative percent positivity rate of 6.7 percent since the pandemic began. Numbers varied throughout counties in the state, ranging from below Faulkner County’s percentage to percentage numbers in the low-30s.
The state finished 5,248 tests since Monday, another day of lower testing numbers due to a struggle to receive significant results from commercial labs. Romero said the Health Department is now consistently returning over 1,000 tests a day. Despite the likelihood of meeting the state’s original July testing goal of 200,000 tests low, the governor said he expects to cross the 180,000 test mark for July, or 6 percent of the state’s population. As of Tuesday, the state has completed 170,119 tests in July.